Pain Perdu with Warm Raspberries & Strawberries
Another vivid childhood memory – ‘Pain Perdu’ means lost bread – I will always remember this large earthenware bowl full of this golden liquid, which the stale bread would soak in. Obviously today we are not victims of war economy and and have the luxury of using brioche if you prefer, which you can buy in supermarkets. The red fruits can be replaced by apples or peaches.
|For the pain perdu|
|2||Large eggs (organic or free range)|
|100g||Whole milk (organic)|
|10g||Rum or cognac (optional)|
|1tsp||Vanilla essence, the best (optional)|
|4 slices||Bread or brioche, 2cm thick, crusts cut off|
|For the fruit and syrup|
|30g||Unsalted butter, cold, diced|
|100g||Strawberries, stalks removed, washed and cut in half(or quartered if large)|
|10g||Kirsch or cognac|
Making the egg mix
1. Pre heat the oven to 150°C. In a large bowl, beat the eggs mix in the sugar to dissolve and gradually pour in the milk and rum.
Soaking the bread
2. Place the slices of bread or brioche in the egg mixture and soak for 4/5 minutes to ensure that the bread absorbs the liquid. Carefully lift the slices of bread or brioche from the bowl with a fish slice and reserve on a tray.
Frying the bread
3. On a medium heat, in a large frying pan (28cmØ) melt half the butter, when it reaches foaming stage add two of the bread or brioche slices and colour for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the coloured slices from the pan. Clean the frying pan and return it to the heat to cook the remaining two slices in the same manner. Reserve on an ovenproof tray in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Cooking the caramel and the fruit
4. In a medium frying pan (20cmØ) add 2 tbsp water, spoon the sugar evenly over, let the sugar absorb the water for 3 – 4 minutes. On a medium strong heat, cook the syrup to a very pale blond caramel. Stir in the diced butter add the strawberries and raspberries, then the kirsch or cognac; cook for a further 30 seconds to soften the fruits and create the delicious juices.
5. Remove the hot slices of bread or brioche from the oven and divide them between 4 plates. Spoon the warm strawberries and raspberries over the slices and spoon the red fruit syrup around.